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Gastonia’s newest park opens Saturday

Gastonia and the Optimist Club of Gastonia on Saturday will celebrate the opening of the first phase of the city’s newest park -- Gastonia Optimist Club Park on Vance Street.

The club donated the land for the park, near the West Gastonia Boys and Girls Club it operates on Boyd Street.

The club also raised $170,000 for park equipment, with The Community Foundation administering the contributions fund. Several private companies donated products and services, while the city provided planning and engineering services and built the park.

Phase one includes playground equipment with a special area for toddlers; climbing rocks; a butterfly garden; picnic tables and an area with seating lined with commemorative brick pavers.

Phase two, which will begin soon, will create a connecting trail between the park and the West Gastonia Boys and Girls Club property.

“It’s a neighborhood park with the amenities of one of our larger parks,” Gastonia Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Dellinger said.

“Typically, we bid out a project like this because of the magnitude and complexity of the planning, engineering and construction required,” Dellinger said. The property required major engineering and site work to make it usable as a park because of the topography.

“Developing this park would have cost at least twice as much if we had had to bid it out,” he said.

The grand opening ceremony will be at 10 a.m.

Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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